Environmental monitoring in the construction of a highway with Libelium
The construction of the Bilbao Metropolitan South Bypass in a natural environment, close to residential areas requires the measurement of Libelium sensors for precise control of the polluting agents of the development
Construction is necessary, but nobody wants the harm they generate. Dust, pollution, and noise are the most common inconveniences.
Inconveniences that, in the long run, can generate respiratory diseases and premature deaths in the population.
Furthermore, the works not only affect citizens; they also generate great impact in the ecosystem, especially if they are carried out in a natural environment.
» The challenge
Measure and control the environmental impact (noise, dust, air) during the construction of a highway in natural and residential surroundings.
» The solution
Libelium Plug & Sense! Smart Cities PRO sharing data via Sigfox to eNature cloud platform.
That is why the current legal regulations in Spain require the drafting and fulfilment of an Environmental Surveillance Plan when a work of a certain size is carried out.
At present, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia and Interbiak is building the closure of the Bilbao Metropolitan South Bypass (VSM), connecting it with the AP68. FULCRUM engineering, thanks to its eNatura system (enatura.eus), is responsible for monitoring environmental impacts, using a series of Libelium sensors to monitor parameters related to the environmental impact of the work on the environment. FULCRUM is an engineering group that works for public organizations, promoters, construction companies and infrastructure operators, providing professional engineering, design and consulting services throughout the entire life cycle of projects.
The monitoring of air quality in constructions and demolitions using sensors is a form of supervising the environmental conditions.
The environmental surveillance system developed by FULCRUM to monitor the VSM works is made up of seven Libelium environmental nodes located in strategic places around the construction. A total of 30 environmental parameters are continuously monitored, including water quality, air quality, noise and temperature.
Part of the South Metropolitan Bypass runs through the Bolintxu valley, on the slopes of the Pagasarri hill, a place of great biodiversity, so the environmental impact of the works is closely monitored by neighbourhoods, associations and ecologists.
Plug & Sense! Smart Cities Pro nodes are connected via Sigfox connectivity. “We needed to have a wide coverage since several of the nodes are in areas where mobile coverage does not reach,” comments Jorge Alba, Sensorae consultant, FULCRUM collaborator in the project.
For the same reason, they needed a stand-alone solution, requiring no connection to the electrical grid and that could be activated every two hours to take measurements.
All these requirements led FULCRUM to choose the Plug & Sense! Smart Cities PRO solution. “It is a very reliable solution over time”, FULCRUM has assured.
The sensors of the Smart Cities Pro nodes collect the following information:
- Noise / Sound Level Sensor (dBA / LeqA)
- Particulate matter (PM1 / PM2. 5 / PM10) and dust
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Molecular oxygen (O2)
- Ozone (O3)
- Nitric oxide (NO)
- Nitric dioxide (NO2)
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
- Ammonia (NH3)
- Methane (CH4)
- Hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
- Atmospheric pressure
- Brightness (precision in lux) for smart lighting
The information collected by the sensors is sent via Sigfox to the cloud and displayed on its FULCRUM platform, called eNatura.
eNatura performs continuous monitoring of probes and sensors. The information is sent immediately to both the mobile application and the web platform so the user can check all environmental values in real-time.
By unifying the data from the sensors and the open data, the application makes combined analysis to help in decision-making.
Constant measurement enables the monitoring of the Environmental Surveillance Plan to be automated in real-time during the work. It is usual to establish corrections in schedules due to the impact of noise or the implementation of dust mitigation measures in the environment such as irrigated areas, increasing the cadence of these based on the wind or intensity of the work. The ultimate goal is for the work to be completed since in the event of not complying with the environmental monitoring program, construction could be suspended.
Given its complexity, the South Metropolitan Bypass project has been designed to be implemented in phases over several years. Each of these phases represents a new challenge for those responsible, who must make modifications in the design and planning of the following phases based on the most complete and faithful information possible.
In an environment where so many parameters are important (budget, timeline, environmental quality…) having the best tools that provide the most reliable data is critical.